Electrical

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  #1  
Old 10-24-02, 03:56 PM
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Electrical

HOW DO I CONTINUE A CIRCUIT THROUGH A 3 WAY SWITCH TO ANOTHER SWITCH ? I REPLACED A 3 WAY SWITCH FOR MY CEILER HALLWAY. ON THIS LEG IT ALSO SUPPIED POWER TO MY KITCHEN LIGHT.. AFTER REPLACING THE SWITCH, I NO LONGER HAVE POWER TO THE KITCHEN LIGHT??? I DON'T REMEMBER HOW THE ORGINAL WIRING WAS.
 
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  #2  
Old 10-24-02, 04:04 PM
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Tell us all the wires and cables that are in the box containing the switch you replaced. Also, please confirm that you did nothing except replace the switch -- and tell us why you replaced the switch.
 
  #3  
Old 10-25-02, 10:51 AM
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I HAVE THE TWO GROUND WIRES TOGETHER & TO THE 3 WAY SWITCH

I HAVE THE TWO WIRE WIRES TOGETHER ALSO

THE BLACK WIRE FROM POWER SOURCE IS CONNECTED TO THE TOP LEFT COMMON SCREW OF THE 3 WAY SWITCH

THE RED WIRE FROM THE 4 WIRE OF THE 3 WAY SWITCH IS CONNECTED ON THE BOTTOM LEFT BELOW THE COMMON SCREW

THE BLACK WIRE FROM THE 4 WIRE OF THE 3 WAY SWITCH IS CONNECTED ON THE BOTTOM RIGHT

I GET POWER TO THE KITCHEN LIGHT SWITCH AND THE KITCHEN SWITCHES WORK FINE BUT THE 3 WAY SWITCH FOR THE CELLAR HALL LIGHT DOES NOT WORK. IF I HIT THE SWITCH FROM DOWN IN THE CELLAR THE KITCHEN LIGHTS GO OUT.

I REVERSED THE BOTTOM TWO WIRES, PUT THE RED WIRE ON THE RIGHT SIDE AND THE BOTTOM RIGHT WIRE ON THE LEFT SIDE AND THE CELLAR HALL LIGHT WORKED FROM BOTH SWITCHES. BUT THEN I DON'T HAVE POWER TO THE KITCHEN LIGHTS.
 
  #4  
Old 10-25-02, 12:55 PM
J
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A lot about this doesn't make sense. You don't have enough wire here to both run a 3-way switch and provide downstream power to your kitchen. I don't see how this could ever work.

Please confirm that you did nothing except replace the switch -- and tell us why you replaced the switch.
 
  #5  
Old 10-25-02, 12:58 PM
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I'll make a guess, but also ask you to do a couple things. First, please take off the CAPS lock. It is much easier to read! Second, if what I suggest doesn't work, please answer the rest of John's questions, which three way is this, where is the kitchen switch ties in, did you do anything else, and why did you replace the switch.

My guess is that the screw you think is the common on the switch is not. You can't go by position. The screw of the common should be a different color, of the switch should be labelled somehow.
 
  #6  
Old 10-25-02, 02:22 PM
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I WAS REWIRING THE CELLAR . THE WIRING FOR THE CEILING
LIGHTS IN THE CELLAR CONTINUED TO THE 3WAY CELLAR
HALLWAY SWITCH AND TO ALL THE KITCHEN LIGHTS. THE REASON THAT I RAN A NEW LINE FROM THE LAST CEILING FIXTURE TO THE 3WAY SWITCH FOR THE CELLAR HALLWAY WAS BECAUSE THE GROUND WIRE WAS NOT WIRED TO THE REST OF THE CEILING LIGHTS. SO I PUT A NEW LINE AND PUT A NEW 3WAY SWITCH IN. THE COMMON SCREW IS DARK AND IDENTIFIED ON THE BACK OF THE SWITCH WHICH I HAVE HOOK THE BLACK WIRE FROM THE POWER SOURCE. THIS HOUSE WAS BUILT IN 1988 AND THE WIRING WAS ALL COMPLETED BY A CERTIFIED ELECTRIAN ???
 
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Old 10-25-02, 02:41 PM
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I think what you attempted is impossible. But I'm not quite sure yet. Can you describe more precisely what you did? Did you add a second switch to a light formerly controlled by only one switch, or were the 3-way switches always there? Did you add a new 14/2 cable to the 3-way switch you've been describing, or to the other one?

Can you help me understand better?

P.S. The caps lock key is just above the shift key on the left side of most keyboards.
 
  #8  
Old 10-25-02, 03:03 PM
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John is correct.

I do not think this is possible.

Mike
 
  #9  
Old 10-25-02, 05:31 PM
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I just replaced an 8ft section of wire from 14/2 to 12/2 and a new 3way switch. The original 3 way switch was the wrong color. The 3 way switch was always there. The wire from the ceiling light, in the cellar, was the power source to the 3 way switch. The ground wire at the ceiling light was cut off and therefore the light in the cellar hallway and kitchen where never grounded. That's why I replaced the 8ft section of 14/2 wire and connected the ground wire at the ceiling light which is the power source.

If I reverse the two wires on the bottom of the switch (black to left @ red to right side) only the cellar hallway lights work with the 3 way switch.

If I put the black wire on the right bottom and the red wire on the left bottom all the kitchen lights work but not the cellar hallway lights. I have 3- 3way switches in the kitchen.

I only changed the switch and 8ft section of wire?????
 
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Old 10-25-02, 06:21 PM
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Okay, if all you did was replace a 14/2 with 12/2, and replace one 3-way switch with another 3-way switch of a different color, then we should be able to get this to work.

Do you still have the old switch? If so, compare it closely with the new one. The position of the screws may be different, so identify the common on both. Make sure they both have the same number and color of screws to ensure that you have the right replacement.

The cable you replaced was from the ceiling light. You refer to this as the power source. From that, I infer that this ceiling light was not controlled by this switch. Right? So the ceiling light must be operated with a pull chain. Right?

You have exactly one 12/2 and one 14/3 in the switch box. No more, no less. Nothing else tucked in the back of the box. True?

You also say that the wiring continued on to the kitchen. Other than the fact that the kitchen light doesn't work any more, how do you know this? Exactly where does the cable to the kitchen originate?

I can't help but think you're leaving something out in your description.
 
  #11  
Old 10-25-02, 09:45 PM
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possible kludge

Although I couldn't follow the original poster's description or followups, consider this possibility: to get a three-way circuit to work without pulling new cable, sometimes a goofball will use the equipment grounding conductor as a traveller.

Maybe the original installer used the wrong cable and on trim-out used this method to kludge it together. I've seen "Mr. Fixit" handymen do this to add a three-way, and to switch half of a receptacle w/o running new cable. And without even separating the grounding conductor from the rest of the circuit!

I find it amazing that people will jump in and work on their electrical system without understanding it first. I mean, this isn't like painting! A mistake can burn your house down!

Cliff
 
  #12  
Old 10-26-02, 11:21 AM
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The only difference between the switches is that the original switch doesn't have a ground. Both switches have only 3 screws and the common screws are marked. The cellar ceiling lights are pull chain. Nothing else in the box. I have 3 wires from the power source and 4 wire for the switches. I can't remember the way the original wires were attached.

The kitchen wire originates at the 3way switch upstairs, which is the other end of the 3 way switch for the cellar hallway light. I noticed that the wiring inside this switch has a ground wire together with the 3 white wires?? This gives me doughts on the professionalism of the installers.
 
  #13  
Old 10-26-02, 05:02 PM
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Tell us all the cables and wires in the upstairs switch box and how they are connected.
 
  #14  
Old 10-27-02, 08:51 AM
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The upstairs switch box has 4 lines coming into it.

Line 1 comes from cellar.
Line 2 goes to light for cellar hallway.
Line 3 goes to, I assume, a power source for one of the 3 way light switches for the kitchen table light.
Line 4 the same as line 3 a power source for another 3 way switch for the kitchen island light.

All 4 ground wires are together.
White wires L4,L3,L2 are together.
Black wires L4,L3,L1 together.
3way switch upstairs has L1 red & L1 white with L2 black connected to the switch, black to common screw.
They also have an extra ground wire running from the 4ground wires to the 3 white wires??
 
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Old 10-27-02, 10:06 AM
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That was a great description of the upstairs switch!

However, this wiring is nuts. I'm not sure whoever did it knew what they were doing. I think power comes into the upstairs switch (on L3 or L4), not the downstairs switch. In fact, I'm not sure of the purpose of that 12/2 cable you just ran from the ceiling lights to the downstairs switch. I think it may be unnecessary.

I have two experiments for you to try.

(1) First experiment. Turn off the breaker. Disconnect all wires at the downstairs switch box. Carefully separate them. No wires should be connected to any other wire or to the switch. Turn the breaker back on.

Questions: (1a) Does the kitchen have power? (1b) Do the pull-chain fixtures in the basement work? (1c) Can you turn on the hallway lights using the upstairs switch?

(2) Second experiment. Turn off the breaker. At the downstairs switch, connect the red and white from the upstairs switch to the two traveler screws, and connect the black wire from the upstairs switch to the common screw. Do not connect the black and white from the 12/2 to anything. Turn the breaker back on.

Questions: (2a) Does the kitchen have power? (2b) do the pull-chain fixtures in the basement work? (2c) Can you turn on and off the hallway lights using either the upstairs and downstairs switches?

If experiment 2 results in correct operation of everything, then that is the answer. The 12/2 cable from the downstairs switch to the ceiling lights serves no purpose and should be removed.
 
  #16  
Old 10-28-02, 09:36 AM
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I just have to interject a comment here--nothing substantial to the conversation at hand.

It is AMAZING to see y'all in action on this board! I commend the patience and perseverance of those willing to help because I couldn't follow a darn thing at first, but y'all did and got POPPER to describe everything in detail. After the description, I can picture (just about) everything in my head, but I wouldn't know where to begin giving advice.

Y'all rock! Keep up the great work. All us 'common folk' really do appreciate all of you who help out and contribute to this forum.
 
  #17  
Old 11-24-02, 06:02 AM
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Nothing here to add to problem analysis, but just a word to commend the dialogue between Moderator and Popper: Thanks!!!
 
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